MSC Success For French Fisheries17 February 2011
FRANCE - Scapêche and the Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo have been certified as sustainable against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries. The certification relates to the saithe (Pollachius virens) fishery in the North-East Atlantic, North Sea, and Northern Norwegian Sea.
two fishing companies are based in the Brittany region, Scapêche in the city of Lorient and Compagnie des Pêches in Saint-Malo. They entered MSC assessment more than 14 months ago, under the coordination of the National Association of Producers’ Organizations (ANOP).
The certification was conducted by the MacAlister Elliott and Partners Ltd (MEP) Certification Body, who appointed a team of independent scientists and experts. The evaluation examined the fishery’s performance against the three fundamental principles of the MSC standard: sustainable fish stocks, minimizing ecosystem impacts, and effective management of the fishery.
As part of the certification decision, the fishery must undertake management action plans to improve understanding of the potential interactions between the fishery and non-targeted and protected species, such as the common skate.
As required by the certifier, MEP, the two companies have undertaken to implement measures to ensure that their fishing activity is targeted accurately and to limit its potential impact. These include: on-board identification and registration of bycatch figures for protected species; information to employees on sensitive habitats; separation at auction; and detailed reports by independent on-board observers.
Welcoming the certification decision, Dominique Périer, President of Scapêche, said: “Saithe is one of our most iconic species. We have been developing a Sustainable Fishing policy since 2006, which has helped to engage our staff on issues such as good management of fish stocks, the wider marine environment, fishermen’s working conditions and our products’ freshness.
"This organisation-wide commitment is now further strengthened by the MSC programme. The MSC certification is the logical extension of the dialogues we have already initiated with scientists, and it is now great testimony that our saithe fishing operations are sustainable.”
The MSC certification process helped us formalise the actions our staff had already initiated, but also to go further,” adds Martine Edouard- Leborgne, from the Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo.
“The real strength of the MSC programme lies in the rigorous scientific evaluation which is demanded. This work encourages asking the right questions for the future, so that we can preserve our resources and ensure the sustainability of fishing activities.”
“In all aspects, whether management of fish stocks, impact on marine environment, and staff engagement, the MSC certification process validates our company’s sustainability policies, initiated many years ago,” states Patrick Soisson, Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo’s President.
Julien Lamothe, General Secretary of the ANOP, adds: “By facilitating the shared certification, we are happy to have been able to bring together these two companies for which saithe is a key species, at national as well as European level. These fishing companies have demonstrated their ability to lead from the front and add value to their products through the MSC ecolabel.“
TheFishSite News Desk